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Easy Summer Pasta Salad Recipe

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This easy Pasta Salad recipe is a go-to, have-to-have every summer, picnic, and backyard cookout recipe. It’s simple, it’s healthy... and it’s delicious with homemade Italian dressing! Here’s how to make a super simple summer pasta salad with tomatoes, chickpeas, cucumbers, feta, and pepperoncini.

Top horizontal view of pasta salad with cucumbers, chickpeas, and tomatoes in a white bowl with fresh herbs in the background

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Can it be summer without at least one pasta salad? Not at my house! And I can guarantee there will be more than 1, 2… or even 3 pasta salads throughout the season.

It’s summer, after all!

When to Serve Pasta Salad:

If you’re asking me, I will always say… anytime! I love pasta salad (can you tell?)! But here are a few more ideas on when you should serve this favorite summer side dish.

  • Picnics, potlucks, all summer gatherings (Memorial Day, 4th of July, Labor Day) or family reunions, block parties, or any time you need to bring a side dish!
  • Or… when you’re craving a summer-hearty dish filled with easy-to-prepare veggies that need to be used. Or maybe when you’re just craving pasta!
Top view of Pasta Salad recipe ingredients on a white wood background

Pasta Salad Ingredients

The exact measurements are in the recipe card at the bottom of this post:

  • Pasta in your favorite shape (I’m in love with “Wagon Wheel” (rotelle) pasta or fusilli)
  • Cherry tomatoes, halved
  • Canned chickpeas
  • Spinach (I prefer baby spinach leaves)
  • Cucumbers, thinly sliced– look for smaller-size cucumbers, like Persian or English
  • Pepperoncini or jarred roasted peppers: completely optional but oh-so-delicious & pretty!
  • Crumbled feta cheese (or shredded mozzarella)
  • Herbs: fresh parsley, oregano, or mint

Homemade Italian Dressing

Don’t skip this! Here’s what you need:

  • Extra virgin olive oil (the good stuff)
  • Lemon juice (or white vinegar if you prefer)
  • Dijon mustard
  • Garlic cloves, minced
  • Dried Italian seasoning
  • Red pepper flakes & sea salt

Add all the ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth– like one minute or less.

Side view of easy Pasta Salad recipe in a white pasta bowl homemade Italian dressing and fresh herbs

How To Make Pasta Salad in 3 Steps

It’s summer, and time is precious. Not doing long, involved recipes this season– well, let’s just say not frequently… I’m trying to keep kitchen time short so I can spend more time with friends and family.

But, that doesn’t mean we’re not indulging in delicious, healthy, seasonal food– like pasta salad! It’s just literally not summer without at least one (but more like 4 or 5 times at least!).

Here’s how to make easy Pasta Salad in 3 steps:

  1. Cook your pasta according to package instructions. Drain, rinse, and let cool to room temperature (add a bit of olive oil to keep it from sticking).
  2. While pasta is cooking make the dressing and chop the veggies (tomatoes & cucumbers).
  3. Toss pasta and salad ingredients together. Pour dressing over the top and toss to coat. Taste and see how delicious it is!

Pasta Salad Frequently Asked Questions

Can you make pasta salad ahead?

Absolutely! I love to make pasta salad 12 to 24 hours ahead of time. This gives the salad time to absorb all the beautiful flavors. Just before serving, taste and season as necessary. Drizzle a bit more olive oil and toss if needed.

How do you store pasta salad?

Whether you’re making pasta salad ahead or storing leftovers, keep it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days.

Can I use other vegetables in this pasta salad?

Yes! Be as creative as you want– it’s one of the things I love best about a classic pasta salad. Try adding blanched broccoli or even blanched green beans. Or switch up the feta and add your favorite cheese like parmesan, mozzarella, or even cheddar. And absolutely use your favorite shaped pasta like penne, macaroni, or even tortellini.

More Pasta Salad Recipes You May Also Enjoy


Make sure you don’t lose track of this recipe by pinning it for later! If you are not already, you can follow me on Pinterest, as well as keep up with me on FacebookInstagram, and YouTube. If you make this recipe, I would also love it if you’d tag me in your photos and leave a star rating below!

Top view of easy Summer Pasta Salad on a white background with fresh lemons, herbs, cherry tomatoes, chickpeas and cucumbers
Top horizontal view of pasta salad with cucumbers, chickpeas, and tomatoes in a white bowl with fresh herbs in the background

Easy Pasta Salad Recipe

This easy Pasta Salad is delicious and healthy with homemade Italian dressing, tomatoes, chickpeas, cucumbers, feta, and pepperoncini.
5 from 1 vote
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Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 10 servings


  • 1 pound uncooked pasta like Wagon Wheel or fusilli
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes halved
  • 1 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 2 cups spinach
  • 1 cup cucumbers, sliced thinly into half moon shapes
  • 3/4 cup pepperoncini (optional)
  • 1 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/2 cup parsley minced
  • 1/4 cup oregano or mint, chopped

Italian Dressing

  • 1/2 cup olive oil extra virgin
  • 1/4 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt


  • Bring a large pot of salted water to boil and cook the pasta according to package instructions.
  • Make the dressing: Whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, water, mustard, garlic, Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes, and salt in a small bowl. Set aside.
  • Drain the pasta, toss it with a drizzle of olive oil to keep from sticking together and let cool to room temperature.
  • Transfer pasta to a large bowl and add tomatoes, chickpeas, spinach, cucumbers, pepperoncini (optional), feta, parsley, ane oregano or mint. Pour the dressing over the top and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve!


Calories: 256kcal | Carbohydrates: 38g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 16mg | Sodium: 281mg | Potassium: 273mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 991IU | Vitamin C: 13mg | Calcium: 46mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

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Course: Pasta, Salad
Cuisine: American
Keyword: pasta salad

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